What the extension given to General Bajwa means to India
New Delhi, Aug 20: Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa's term was extended for another three years by Prime Minister Imran Khan in view of the "regional security environment", an official announcement said on Monday.
General Bajwa, 58, who was appointed as the chief of Army Staff by former jailed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in November 2016, was to retire in November.
"General Qamar Javed Bajwa is appointed Chief of Army Staff for another term of three years from the date of completion of current tenure," read the brief notification issued by the Prime Minister's Office.
"The decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment," the Dawn reported, citing the decision made by Prime Minister Khan.
Earlier, there were reports that Prime Minister Khan may give another term to Bajwa as both were working closely.
Bajwa accompanied Khan on his maiden US visit during which he met US President Donald Trump at the White House.
Khan had also nominated Bajwa as a member of the National Development Council, in an unprecedented move.
In Pakistan, the appointment of the Army chief is the prerogative of the Prime Minister and his government.
The practice of the senior most being made the chief is not followed.
Bajwa's extension comes amidst worsening ties between India and Pakistan following India's decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370.
This is the second time in the past decade that a Pakistan Army chief has been given an extension. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who took over as the chief in 2007 was given an extension in 2010.
Pakistan, it appears decided to continue to the army chief keeping in mind the current situation in the country. It would not want to give up on its Kashmir rhetoric and would look to push in terrorists into the Valley. Pakistan is also involved along with the United States in the Afghanistan talks. Further it is also under the glare of the FATF.
With so much going on, for Pakistan, the best option was to continue with the existing chief. For India on the other hand, the matter is purely personal. It would make no difference to India, whether, he continued as the chief or not. India has dealt with General Bajwa, not only as chief, but also when he was the commander of the 10 corps of the Pakistan Army, which is responsible for the area along the Line of Control.
Indian officials say that whether General Bajwa was in the hot seat or not, it would still have to deal with the rhetoric on Kashmir and the issue relating to infiltrations, that the Pakistan Army continues to support.